Friday, December 29, 2017

Winter in Western NY (Quick take)

I am not sure if my writing talents can truly describe the cuteness that I saw driving around but since I didn't have a camera on me I shall try.

A field of snow deep enough that it makes it difficult for a man to walk through but one was and as he did so he was paving a path for a dozen or so small goats to follow, in a single line, behind the man.
Also three prefect deer ran across the road and leaped into another snowy field on the other side.

What one sees when they have to leave the house because of Cabin Fever in the winter.

My top ten TV moments of 2017

In no particular order...

1. Season 7 finale of The Walking Dead (Battle of Alexandria)
2. The Flash Musical (nothing better than Jesse L Martin, Victor Garber and John Barrowman singing together)
3. Finn's drug withdrawal on General Hospital (Michael Easton should try for a Daytime Emmy this year)
4. Randy proposing to Max (2 Broke Girls Season Finale)
5. Abe vs Simcoe fight (final season of TURN Washington spies)
6. The Middle (Final Season)
7. The Orville (First season)
8. The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (since the election)
9. The season finale of The Royals
10. Live tweeting Chicago Med and winning a cast photo

Monday, November 27, 2017

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Dear Ben Affleck and Matt Damon,

If you want to get back on the women of Hollywood good sides you can bring back Project Greenlight without the Weinsteins and instead of a contest I submit my unpublished novella as a screenplay for what is in my mind an indie film.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Dear Hollywood

Now that Harvey Weinstein is out it is time for a woman to be in charge of the industry. Here is my resume...
A love of movies for my entire life...

A deep hatred for Donald Trump

I have never committed murder, sexual harassment or abuse (of any kind). I don't do drugs, illegal or prescription, although if I'm in a state where weed is legal I would try a brownie. I enjoy a glass of wine once in a while. Thank you for your consideration.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Blade Runner 2049

As I wrote a few weeks ago, there are a few actors to whom I go see a movies because he is in the movie, Ryan Gosling was one on the list. So even though I haven’t seen the original Blade Runner I had to see Blade Runner 2049.

 At almost three hours Blade Runner 2049 is a slow paced, intriguing sci-fi film. Gosling stars as K a new version of the firsts film Replicas, who is a cop tracking down older, rebellious replicas. He doesn’t like doing so but it is his job and that is what he was designed for. When he is not doing this he lives a lonely life in a small and dingy apartment.

The story takes a few twists and turns but overall a good plot. The main thing I want to say about this film is that with all the tools in his filmmaking toolbox the Director (Denis Villeneuve) creates a whole world on film. I felt like I was there walking with K in 2049 Los Angeles. The look of every scene was both beautiful and unsettling.

Harrison Ford returns as Rick Deckard 

And Robin Wright and Jerad Leto also star

If you want to see a single character on an epic journey check out Blade Runner 2049

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Stronger film is filled with strong performances

Before I go any further I have a confession to make, there are a handful of actors whose movies I go see just because said actor is in it. I spent the 1990s going to Chris O’Donnell movies and since the early 2000s with Josh Hartnett, (gone but not forgotten) Heath Ledger and Ryan Gosling. When you see a movie for this reason you end up seeing a few bad apples. So when I watched Stronger because it happens to star Jake Gyllenhaal I was happy it ended up being a delicious good apple.
Stronger is the true life story of Jeff Bauman, portrayed by Jake Gyllenhaal, a young man who in 2013 was at the finish line of the Boston Marathon when a terror attack changed his life forever. One of the homemade explosives took off both of Jeff’s legs and the film follows him as he copes with his family, fame and healing.

When Jeff wakes up in the hospital his family is there and what a group of characters they are. as they become the heart and center to this wonderful film. Miranda Richardson portrays Jeff’s mother Patty. The two share a small apartment and as much as she loves her son, she may love herself a little more. Her hair isn’t perfect, her clothes are baggy and she smokes like a chimney so you know Hollywood didn’t create her and she truly could be anyone’s mom. Richardson steals every scene she is in and that is a good thing.
The rest of the family is just as colorful and brilliant to watch. Throughout the film Jeff is struggling, he is angry at himself and the world and his family do what they can to support him. He and his brothers spend a lot of time at their favorite bar and in one memberable sequence they get into a fight with fellow patrons and are thrown out. Afterwards they spend the night causing trouble, as a group of young men do, wreaking havoc on a playground and in the streets of Boston. Also helping Jeff on his journey is his on again and off again girlfriend, portrayed by the amazing Tatiana Maslany, all she wants to do is help him and to stand by his side as he gets his new legs.

 At times it is not easy to be there for Jeff but as the story grows so do all those involved.
Finally I came to Jake Gyllenhaal’s incredible performance. As a handsome and successful actor he could have played Jeff as a true American hero, polished and perfect in every way, a man who fought the good fight and came out on top. In fact he didn’t have to make himself seem so small, grimy and insecure but if you have every watched a Jake Gyllenhaal film you know he is an actor who knows it’s the little things that make a character worth caring for. Watching Jeff in the bathroom for the first time without legs shows how even the simple tasks become difficult, Gyllenhaal made the scene heart breaking yet determined.   

That and all of the performances (even those who only appeared in a scene or two) are what makes Stronger the brilliant film that it is.

I also have to admit that I am not a fan of “inspired by actual events” films, especially when that event happened within my lifetime. I didn’t know the story although I am sure it was on the news and internet and to be honest I didn’t care so I was skeptical when I walked into theater one. Directed by David Gordon Green and written by John Pollono based on the book by Jeff Bauman and Bret Witter, Stronger doesn’t focus on the manhunt of the terrorist but on those who were affected by their actions. It could have been big, bold and preachy. It could have been the good guys against the bad guys. Instead this small film was about so much more. Stronger concetratraed on the important things in life. For instance when Jeff gets the dressing changed on what is left of his legs for the first time the viewer ends up feeling his pain. Not because of the screams of agony but the expression in his eyes. You can tell a lot about how a person is feeling by just a look on his face and the look on Gyllenhaal’s face is of sadness and pain and makes for a much bigger impact. More than once does the actor make you feel what the character is going through by such subtle moments throughout the film   

The movie had just the right amount of patriotism, humor and sap. It was a well-made film that had a good story to tell and that is why I am happy I saw (and you should go check out) Stronger.


Friday, August 18, 2017

A history lesson on Dunkirk

Imagine yourself standing on the shores of what under normal circumstances would be a beautiful beach hoping it’s not your time to die as enemy planes fly overhead. That is how the World War II drama film Dunkirk begins. Over  400,000 men in uniform taking cover in a place where none is to be found. Men who just want to make it across an ocean and see home again. Is Dunkirk a film about a little known event in British military history, yes. Is it a film worth watching? Yes and let me tell you why.

Directed and written by Christopher Nolan, from opening shot to ending cridits Dunkirk is a thrilling and beautiful film. A true story taken from World War II about the British and allied evacuation from Dunkirk, France. A story about what it means to be a soldier and a human. A story about what it takes to survive a battle. With the beach being the prime location Nolan also takes us to the skies and on the water. It is difficult to write about a film when most of the cast is unknown to me and they wear the same uniform and have accents making it especially challenging to learn the names of the characters but that’s not going to stop me.

Dunkirk opens on Alex, played by Harry Styles (yes from the boy band One Direction but stay with me because while it is always nerve wrecking when a teen singing idol takes a stab at dramatic acting sometimes things work out, look at Justin Timberlake) he is running through the streets of the city and from there the viewer is with him as his story unfolds. A single soldier without a regiment or commander he finds others along the way who just want to make it through the battle. In one anxious scene he and his fellow soldiers are in the hull of a capsized ship trying to keep still with the enemy nearby.

Then we are in the skies as British pilots try to stay in the air as they protect those on the ground.

The other piece of the story isn’t about soldiers at all but the civialns who were called upon by the miltary to help for their own ships cannot make it. This is where having a large population of citizens who own a boat and being an island nation comes in handy . One of these regular folks is a man named Mr. Dawson played by Mark Rylance, he along with his son Peter, played by Tom Glynn-Carney and Peter’s friend George played by Barry Keoghan. The three of them brave the fight to save as many men as they can.

Although there is very little dialouge Christopher Nolan has made a film that leaves a lasting impact for days afterwards. Every scene, every fight was from the point of view of those involved. Although at times loud (after all it is war) Dunkirk is a tense film putting you on the edge of your seat. I felt claustrophobic during scenes that took place in tight spaces, and I cried a few time-from joy and sadness. And I felt as Commander Bolton, played by Kenneth Branagh felt throughout the film.    

A great job by all those who had a part in making this film.

I have watched a few World War II movies, some like Pearl Harbor over and over until I had it memorized and some that were critically acclaimed like Saving Private Ryan. With Dunkirk I have learned something new about this time in history and will watch it again.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Turn: Washington’s Spies (2014-2017)

In order to say a fond farewell to Turn: Washington’s Spies a have to go character by character.

Let me start with Abraham Woodhull portrayed by Jamie Bell. Abe was younger brother to Thomas who was killed in an uprising before the war. He married his brother’s girl Mary, portrayed by Meegan Warner and they had a son named after his brother. Before the Revaluation Abe was a cabbage farmer in Setauket New York. When the opportunity to fight, as a spy not a soldier, came to his doorstep he knew he had no choice. So without his father a judge and loyalist portrayed by Kevin McNally  knowledge and in honor of his brother he became a key member of the spy ring. Under the name Culper, Abe would go on to fight the British from the inside. Abraham Woodhull was a good man who loved his family, even when they were against him and along with others knew that a new nation was worth fighting for.    

Then there was Maj. Ben Talmadge portrayed by Seth Numrich who if I am being honest was my favorite character. Ben was the one who brought Abe and others into the spy ring. Throughout most of the war he was the one within Washington’s camp working with him as they planned each new mission for the spies. Friends with Abe and Lt. Caleb Brewster, portrayed by Daniel Henshall, since they were kids he always had their back and wanted them to stay safe and come home.

Yes there were women who believe in the cause and there was none more ready to be part of the war than Anna Strong, portrayed by Heather Lind, married to another man but in love with Abe, Anna quickly joined the fight and worked alongside Abe and Ben since the beginning. She was as strong as her name suggested and never let down the men or herself.

On the side of the spies and working with them were a couple of recurring characters-

Abigail, played by Idara Victor a black woman who served in the household of Andre and Arnold, she was able to work both sides and passed on important information about the British tactics to Anna. Her son Cicero, played by Darren Alford would join her in the effort. A man named Akinbode played by Aldis Hodge would come to help the cause and love her.

And finally fighting for America’s freedom we had Robert Townsend, portrayed by Nick Westrate. Townsend a Quaker by religion and a Tavern keeper in life was in a prime situation to become known as Culper jr. because of his religion he tried to stay neutral but working behind a bar everyone, even a redcoat, will talk to you and after a few drinks will tell you anything. With the local newspapers printing press in his tavern’s basement he was able to pass on information in plain sight.  

SIMCOE, portrayed by Samuel Roukin, what can I say about Lt.Col. John Graves Simcoe?  1) He is not the 1st British officer I love to hate on TV or in film. 2) Simcoe was pure evil from day one. He and Abe were enemies almost from their first meeting when Simcoe was walking around Setauket like he owned the place. He was one of those guys who thought they knew everything and believed he was better than anyone. All he cared about was power which was evident when it came to his relationship to Major Edmund Hewlett, played by Torchwood’s own Burn Gorman (Hewlett was in command at Setauket and for most of the series Abe used him and played him like a fiddle to get him to do what was best in order to mover along each mission and gain information for Ben and Washington). When Simcoe got some real power in the command of the Queen’s Rangers he used them to try and kill his enemies. Abe and Simcoe were the definition of good vs evil. Every time they met the friction that came across the screen was electric. Bell and Roukin made these two men come (back) to life and every second was a joy to watch, a week after it and I still got goosebumps after watching their final fight. SIMCOE

And then there is the one “character” in this series that I knew a thing or two about before but now feel I have better insight of- General Benedict Arnold portrayed by Owain Yeoman (I don’t know what is worst portraying a traitor or being an undercover Brit, where was that accent during The Mentalist?) History nerd alert-If you visit the Historical National Park and Battlefield in Saratoga NY you can see a statue of Gen. Arnold’s boot and this series picked up shortly after he was shot in the leg during that battle. Where Simcoe was evil, Arnold was an opportunist. When he didn’t receive a promotion and raise from the continental congress he and his knowledge of Washington’s tactics joined the British. Arnold would go on to marry Peggy Shippen, played by Ksenia Solo who never really loved him but grew up with money and believed Arnold was key to keeping her social status. It seemed Benedict never loved Peggy even as she became a spy in her own right as it was Major John Andre portrayed by JJ Field who was in love with her. When it became clear Andre couldn’t be with her he had an actress dress as Peggy. As creepy and out of line as that sounds John Andre may have been on the wrong side of the war but he still had a heart and Spoiler Alert while assisting in a plot devised by Arnold he was quickly hanged and I did shed a tear or two while the scene played out.

Last but certainly not least there was the man himself- General George Washington and really there isn’t anything I can say that the history books haven’t said although like with those mentioned above and the rest of the cast Ian Kahn who played the prodigious General and 1st president was superb and made this series a treasure to watch.   

When Turn: Washington’s Spies (based on a book of the same name written by Alexander Rose) premiered it moved slowly and I was unable to follow the plot and characters but by the beginning of the second season I was hooked and involved in this real yet little known story from US history. These men and women to whom I never heard of before came alive in a TV show that stayed under the radar. I enjoyed learning about this time in our history and those on both sides. Although it was one of those shows that never got recognized by The Emmys, the storytelling was on par the best I’ve seen (and as a TV fan and amateur historian that is saying a lot) and the acting by even those in small supporting roles (they added Alexander Hamilton only after Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Musical was a hit) was excellent. Every actor knew their role and every role was important.

When a season ended I didn’t know if the show would return but Turn: Washington’s Spies had 4 good years and I for one will never forget it, in fact I may watch it in its entirely again once the finale airs. I raise a pint to the cast and crew of this one of a kind show. Thank you for teaching and entertaining me every step of the way. RIP    

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Dear Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2

I became a fan of the Guardians of the Galaxy as soon as the first  movie ended and Vol 2 just intensifies my love for the cast and the characters they protray.

Let me start with the man himself Peter Quill aka StarLord. Played by the handsomely talented Chris Pratt. Vol 2 picks up right where the first film left off with the Guardians working a protection job and fighting a fish-like creature. Fast forward to Peter meeting the father he has longed for. The issue of having a father for the first time in his life is what drives him and this 2ed movie to answer the question, what actually makes a family? Pratt is so good in the role bringing the right amount of humor and humanity.

Then there is Quill's team.

Rocket the raccoon who is still as unapologetic as he was in the first is just wonderful to watch. I am sure I said before but it's worth repeating that Rocket is so good one forgets he isn't really there. Voiced by Bradley Cooper the banter and relationship between Rocket and Peter is a joy to watch.

Next is Gamora, the smart, fierce, brave beauty in green. Played  by Zoe Saldana she is a being who will always stand by your side, even if you are her own sister trying to kill her (Nebula in blue played by, always Amy Pond,Karen Gillian).

Drax (Dave Bautista) is a strong man with a soft side when it comes to his friends.

With special powers new character Mantis played by Pom Klementieff is just as adorable and willing to help along with each Guardian making her a perfect addition to the gang.

And last but not least is my favorite character of them all, Groot voiced by Vin Diesel. When last we saw this living tree he sacrificed himself to save the Guardians in Vol 2 he may be smaller but just as tough. I admit my love for baby Groot has no boundaries. The way he moves around the (big) screen is true brilliance on the part of the director. As I left the dark theater and into the blinding sun all I wanted was my own little Groot sitting on my shoulder. As they could mean anything "I am Groot"  are my 3 favorite words.

Kurt Russell and Michael Rooker also star.

Once again writer and director James Gunn has made a movie that is both sweet and fun. I laughed throughout the opening credits and each scene was a blast to watch. The make-up and hair teams helped the human actors come alive while the special effects and production design teams created a wonderful on screen world. When we first see the planet Peter's father is from all there is is beauty. 

If you like the first film than
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 is not to be missed. If you didn't like the first film but want to see a well made flick about what it means to be part of a family, GoG Vol 2 may not be the greatest movie ever made on the subject but it certainly is in the top ten.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

When it was first announced that there was going to be a live action film version of Beauty and the Beast I thought “what a cheap trick by Disney to make more money” after all we already had the 1991 animated movie and a Broadway show. Then I learned who was in the cast and my interest peaked. A couple of months after it opened in theaters I decided to see what the buzz was about.

“A tale as old as time” and a film as new as can be Beauty and the Beast is the same story as it has always been, a young girl named Belle, played by Emma Watson, feels out of place in her small France town, she avoids advances from the not so charming Gaston, played by Luke Evans and loves her father, played by Kevin Kline. It is when her father goes missing that Belle discovers him locked in a enchanted castle where almost every object is alive-A candelabra (Ewan McGregor as Lumiere), a clock (Ian McKellen as Cogsworth), a wardrobe (Andra McDonald as Madame Garderobe), her husband (Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza), a teapot (Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts) and a teacup (Nathan Mack as Chip)-and a Beast, played by Dan Stevens, who was once a Prince lives.

Although it is a story I have watched many times it never gets old and this new live action version allows old and new fans to watch the movie with new eyes. All of the original songs are there and some new ones which just add to the story. The visual effects alone make the movie worth watching. This is shown while comparing the animated original with this new film, seeing a talking candlestick in a cartoon is cute but seeing Lumiere as a more tangible object is something better altogether. A cartoon Belle taking a sip from Chip is nice but seeing an actual actress (one who has grown up on film) take a sip from the same teacup make the viewer young and old believe in magic. Then there is the Be Our Guest scene, I won’t go into details but it has always been my favorite part of the story and director Bill Condon turns the dinner into a spentacular showstopping number.

Mr. Condon and crew make Beauty and the Beast a wonderful time at the cinama. From the small town to the scary woods to the castle itself the production design is a thrill ride for the eyes. From Gaston’s uniform to Belle’s yellow ball gown the costumes hold true to the original animation. From the main characters to the ensamble the entire cast look as if they are having fun. Although I knew the ending I stilled cried but enjoyed every second, every frame and every scene of Beauty and the Beast.  

Josh Gad also stars as the loveable LeFou

Friday, March 31, 2017

Grimm October 28 2011-March 31 2017

Every year you aired I was worried it would be your last, now that the show is actually ending it is time to say goodbye.

Grimm-you were a strange show about a man who could see creatures beneath their human face.(wesen) You started as a show about fairytales coming to life but became so much more.

Nick Burkhardt, played by David Giuntoli, you saw things that no one could see, you knew things that most did not. At first you didn’t understand your power but would eventually use what you learned about yourself and others for good and save those who needed help. You were a good man and an even better Grimm.

But let’s not forget those who stood by you side and helped you fight from beginning to end-

There was Juliette, played by Bitsie Tulloeh, a woman you loved and almost married.

Hank, played by Russell Hornsby, your partner and friend who didn’t believe in your “power” at first but was there with you on every case.

Wu, played by Reggie Lee, another cop who would become a creature himself

Rosalee, played by Bree Turner, a cute and beautiful fox-like wesen, called a Fuchsbau who ran the local spice shop and knew the most about the magical world you and her were born into.

Trubel, played by Jacqueline Toboni, a young Grimm who you would teach and help so she could be as good as you

With friends comes enemies-

There was the Adalind, played by Claire Coffee, a witch-like wesen called a Hexenbiest, who hated everything about you until she didn’t.

And for years you battled with Captain Sean Renard, played by Sasha Roiz, a magical beast called a Zauberbiest who was part of wesen royalty. His and your fight on screen was a joy to watch and became the ultimate battle between good and evil.

As much as I loved you, Nick the Grimm, and those I have already mentioned the character I loved the most was Monroe, played by Silas Weir Mitchell. A wolf-like wesen called a Blutbad who fixed clocks by day and helped Nick discover his true self and was a loyal friend who was there to lend a hand whenever one was needed. (If I could own a piece of the Grimm set I would want the door to Monroe’s cabin, it had a beautiful stained-glass picture of a wolf)

The place was Portland, Oregon. The time was 2011-2017. The show was about folklore and fairytales with many different kinds of wesen, good and evil and a police Detective named Nick who saw things most could not. Though at times Grimm was scary every episode was entertaining.

Farewell sweet Grimm. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review for The Flash “Duet”

When I first learned of a musical crossover I was like heck yeah this is a great idea. I mean if you are a TV network where half of your lineup are shows ripped from DC heroes and have a talent pool that includes Misters Barrowman, Garber and Martin and 2 Glee alumni why not add a 3rd (the wonderful and adorable Darren Criss) and have a musical extravaganza.

This week’s episode of The Flash entitled "Duet" was a lot of fun and in a plot about Barry (The Flash) and Kara (Supergirl) dreaming of being inside a movie musical everything was beautiful. As I watch I felt like the actors were having a fun day on the job. The original songs and those that weren’t were perfectly matched to the story and characters. At one point I felt pure enjoyment for in years passed as I listened to my Rent soundtrack over and over till I memorized it or watched Titanic till I memorized it or watched episode after episode of Torchwood, some of which I have memorized I never thought I would see, in my mind, Tom Collins, Mr. Andrews and Captain Jack Harkness sing one song at the same time and nothing could have been better. You could tell with their voices that Jesse L Martin, Victor Garber and John Barrowman got their start in the theater as they performed to the back roll.

I knew Grant Gustin aka The Flash himself could sing but the tap dancing was a nice surprise.

As for guest star Darren Criss as The Music Meister I have found a new favorite character and would love to see and learn more about him.

The rest of the cast were wonderful and I did not want the hour to end (I will watch it again and again)

Funny, cute and did not disappoint with a perfect song to end another great episode of The Flash

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Vampire Diaries 2009-2017

Although you jumped the shark three seasons ago I still mourn you.

Here is to the Vampires, Witches, Werewolves and humans of Mystic Falls, Virginia.
It all started with a girl named Elena Gilbert (Nina Dobrev), an orphan who was being raised by her Aunt met new guy in town Stefan Salvatore (Paul Wesley). Elena and her friends Bonnie Bennett (Kat Graham), a young up and coming witch and Caroline Forbes (Candice King) were all intrigued buy the new guy and his older brother Damon  (Ian Somerhalder). When Elena found out Stefan was a vampire turned by a women named Kathrine, who looked just like her (aka Elena's doppelganger) during the American Civil War instead of being afraid of him she fell madly in love with him and for 8 years their story would unfold.

A story of love, loss and betrayal. A story with a plethora of characters from all over the supernatural world. There was Jeremy (Steven R McQueen) Elena's younger brother who would die and come back to life only to become a demon hunter. There was Tyler Lockwood (Michael Trevino) who was part of the most prestigious family in Mystic Falls but he would soon find out that being a member of his family wasn't all it was cracked up to be when he accidentally killed someone and unleashed a curse turning him into a werewolf. Matt Donovan the only character that stayed human throughout the series and became sheriff of the town. Enzo (Michael Malarkey) a vampire who fist appeared in 2013 as a "old friend" of Damon's. The Vampire Dairies was the first time we met the Mikealson family-Klaus, Elijah, Rebekah, Cole and Finn who were the original vampires and would go on to have their own series called The Originals which, in my opinion, is a far better series. Finally there was Alaric (Matt Davis) who I have to admit was my favorite character and although he wasn't anything supernatural he was a good man with good principles. He fought alongside and against the rest and was there for any who needed him, in death and life he was the one everyone could count on.

Farewell to The Vampire Dairies-To ALL who came through this crazy fun town you will be missed but will "always and forever" live on in my heart.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Oscar 2017

This year, 2017, marks 20 years since I watched The Academy Awards for the first time and began to take the whole award season seriously. 20 years have gone by since Cuba Gooding Jr told Tom Cruise to “show me the money” and Gooding jumped up on the stage and accepted the Oscar for best supporting actor. I was hooked on the yearly ceremony and decided on that day that I WANTED ONE (Around the same time I started to keep my movie ticket stubs). The following year when Titanic was nominated 14 times (sharing the most nominated films honor with Ben-Hur and this year’s La La Land) I saw the film 3 times in theaters (and although movies are on digital and TV a couple of months after they hit theaters these days, I still like going to one) and enjoyed every minute of the 3 hour film. In the same year I watched the other 4 nominated films (As Good as it Gets, The Full Monty, Good Will Hunting and L.A. Confidential) before the telecast aired. Although I am not any closer to being nominated and winning today as I was back then I still want an Oscar and won’t be giving up on the dream anytime soon.

This year I have seen two of the nominated films La La Land starring the wonderful Ryan Gosling as Sebastian, a wannabe Jazz musician who falls for wannabe actress Mia played by the talented Emma Stone. A story about Hollywood itself (without the sex and violence). From the pastel colors of the sets and costumes to the light and shadows to the original music and the multiple dance numbers (large and small) La La Land is a beautifully made film. A standing ovation to Director and Writer Damien Chazelle, choreographer Mandy Moore, cinematographer Linus Sandgren and original songs by Justin Hurwitz. If you want to feel pure joy while watching a movie La La Land is the one for you.

On a more serious note (see what I did there) I also got to see Hidden Figures. A little known story of African-American women who helped get the USA into space. Fighting both sexism and racism three women working for NASA did their jobs and got their voices heard. The film stars the amazing Taraji P Henson as Kathrine Johnson, who at a young age had a love of knowledge with numbers and math that go way beyond my own and grows up to make sure the numbers are right in order to put a man in space. Janelle Monae plays Mary Jackson, who has a special ability for mechanics and wants to be a NASA engineer. Finally there is Dorothy Vaughan played by the awesome Octavia Spencer who shows NASA that black women should have the chance to rise through the ranks. All of these women must prove to themselves and their white male counterparts that they should all be equal because “here at NASA we all pee the same color”. Kevin Costner, Jim Parsons, (Nominee for Moonlight) Mahershala Ali, Kirsten Dunst, Aldis Hodge and Glen Powell also star. Hidden Figures is as wonderful as everyone says, I laughed at a few lines and cried a few times, I was mad at our country while being proud of some of its people.

If there is one thing these two films have in common is that they are strong proof as to why I love movies and why I still believe one day I will win an Oscar. I have said it before and I will say it again Hollywood and history are the two topics I know. I don’t like being around people and don’t talk much (I was voted quietest in my high school class) but then someone starts talking about a movie (or TV show) they’ve seen and I join the conversation. So when I see a film about two people trying to make their dreams come true, with the addition of song and dance, my heart is happy. When I watch a movie about a little known story out of America’s history I learn something new and that puts a smile on my face. The Academy Award celebration is my Christmas and Superbowl wrapped up in a beautiful and elaborate televised ceremony. A day when (as the say) Hollywood shines and the people who make the movies-from the loneliness PA, to the sound department, editor, screenwriter, music composer, the special effects department, cinematography, costume, hair and makeup departments, production designer, art design, to those who make documentaries and animated (short and feature length) film to the director, actors (Including supporting) and producers-it takes many people to create 2 hours of entertainment and well they may not make movies for the awards being nominated and winning is nice and the bragging rights are with you for the rest of your life.

Cheers to the nominees of the 89th annual Academy Awards. Thank you Hollywood and Thank you to the Academy. FADE TO BLACK

Friday, January 20, 2017

Forty-Five Suicide

It was 1 year, 3 months and 19 days into his Presidency.

On a Wednesday at 2:15pm all of the networks interrupted their regular schedule programing for BREAKING NEWS...White House on Lockdown

"There is an active shooter situation at The White House, at this time we have no details on any victims or who the shooter is."

"It has been two hours and no official information has come from The White House but witnesses  outside and passing by said they heard multiple gun shots"

"We are now five hours and 18 minutes into a lockdown at The White House and can report that three people have been shot including a secret service agent. No word on any fatalities”

"Nothing new since our last report but we will stay on the air for as long as the lockdown continues."

"The sun is rising on the east coast and it has been confirmed that The President was in the resident at the start of the lockdown but is now in the oval office.”

“This just in…BREAKING NEWS…We are getting reactions from inside the White House from Facebook and Twitter. There are seven people injured, one in serious condition.”

“We’ve been on the air for 24 hours”

“The first lady is in the room with the shooter. She is talking to him and trying to calm all involved.”

“The President’s youngest son was at school when the lockdown began he is now with his two adult brothers. The President’s two daughters are on lockdown at his NYC home.”

“We now go to Representative Michael Davis a Democrat from California who was with the President hours before the lockdown.”

“The President’s impeachment hearings have been postponed”

“Joining us to explain what could be happening inside the White House at this time is former FBI director Jason Maddow.”

BREAKING NEWS…”A suspicious bag has been found on the steps of The Lincoln Memorial.”

“The D.C. Police are at The Lincoln Memorial”

“Some staff, including those close to The President have been allowed to exit The White House.”

“American Airlines flight 247 has just hit Dumtp Tower in NYC”

“The President has not tweeted in 32 hours”

“We have Diana Jones, Staff Secutary to the administration on the phone…Ms. Jones are you there?”

“We are watching closely as D.C. police continue to work on the situation at The Lincoln Memorial.”

“We are now 50 hours into the lockdown at the White House and have yet to hear from The President.”

BREAKING NEWS…“The bag left at The Lincoln Memorial was a green backpack with the incials S.D. It was filled with school papers and a laptop.”

“This just in…”

“We are in the third day of White House on Lockdown.”

The screen goes to black

“All has gone silent as we wait for official word of the situation.”

“We were wrong, we were wrong all along. There was one gunshot. It was self-inflicted. We can now report… BREAKING NEWS…The President has committed suicide. The President has died. It is 1:22 pm on the east coast and if you have just turned on your TV or radio we have confirmed The 45th President of the United States is dead at 72.”

Friday, January 13, 2017

La La Land

I saw La La Land but cannot at this time write a review instead I want to see it in a theater a couple more times in hopes that what happens to Mia Farrow in The Purple Rose of Cairo happens to me while watching La La Land.